This Georgia statute states the standards and requirements for the control of dangerous dogs and vicious dogs; this statute also proscribes penalties for violations of these standards and requirements. For instance, a violation of this article is a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature; repeated violations of this article is a felony.
(a) It shall be unlawful for an owner of a dangerous dog to permit the dog to be off the owner's property unless:
(1) The dog is restrained by a leash not to exceed six feet in length and is under the immediate physical control of a person capable of preventing the dog from engaging any other human or animal when necessary;
(2) The dog is contained in a closed and locked cage or crate; or
(3) The dog is working or training as a hunting dog, herding dog, or predator control dog.
(b) It shall be unlawful for an owner of a vicious dog to permit the dog to be:
(1) Outside an enclosure designed to securely confine the vicious dog while on the owner's property or outside a securely locked and enclosed pen, fence, or structure suitable to prevent the vicious dog from leaving such property unless:
(A) The dog is muzzled and restrained by a leash not to exceed six feet in length and is under the immediate physical control of a person capable of preventing the dog from engaging any other human or animal when necessary; or
(B) The dog is contained in a closed and locked cage or crate; or
(2) Unattended with minors.
(c) A person who violates subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of high and aggravated nature.
(d) An owner with a previous conviction for a violation of this article whose classified dog causes serious injury to a human being under circumstances constituting another violation of this article shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, a fine of not less than $5,000.00 nor more than $10,000.00, or both. In addition, the classified dog shall be euthanized at the cost of the owner.
(e) Any irregularity in classification proceedings shall not be a defense to any prosecution under this article so long as the owner of the dog received actual notice of the classification and did not pursue a civil remedy for the correction of the irregularity.
Laws 1988, p. 824, § 2; Laws 1989, p. 159, § 4; Laws 2012, Act 765, § 4, eff. July 1, 2012.